Zaaki to btpass Canterbury Stakes at Randwick

Trainer Annabel Neasham has withdrawn Zaaki from the Canterbury Stakes at Randwick, confirming her stable star will run in Melbourne.

Neasham said the relentless rain in Sydney had forced her hand and rather than risk Zaaki on a very heavy track first-up on Saturday, or the Randwick meeting being washed out, she decided to send him south.

“With continued rainfall and further forecast, Zaaki will unfortunately be scratched from this Saturday’s Canterbury Stakes,” Neasham tweeted.

“At this stage, the plan is now to run in the G2 Blamey Stakes at Flemington.”

Jamie Kah has the ride on Zaaki in the Blamey Stakes (1600m) and he is a $2.10 favourite.

Neasham has also scratched dual acceptor Mumbai Jewel from the Reisling Stakes (1200m) at Randwick with the filly set to join Zaaki at Flemington, while Victorian Forgot You is out of the Randwick Guineas with connections opting to remain in Melbourne.

Randwick remained a heavy 10 on Thursday and had received just over 40mm of rain in the 24 hours to 7.30am (AEDT) and 251mm in the past seven days.

The wet weather has forced racing officials to again postpone the midweek metropolitan meeting set down for Canterbury on Thursday, while the Sapphire Coast program has also been lost.

Saturday’s Polytrack Provincial-Midway Championships Qualifier card has been moved from Hawkesbury to Newcastle following heavy rain and flood warnings in the Hawkesbury area.

Newcastle is also set to host its flagship Newmarket meeting on Friday with 13 horses accepting for the Group 3 race, including the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained pair of Riodini and Dajraan and stablemates Special Reward and Wandabaa for leading local trainer Kris Lees.

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